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Metrojet Plane Crash: Officials Rule Out Technical Glitch, Human Error

Image: Metrojet Plane Crash: Officials Rule Out Technical Glitch, Human Error
In this photo made available Monday, Nov. 2, 2015, and provided by Russian Emergency Situations Ministry, Egyptian Military on cars approach a plane's tail at the wreckage of a passenger jet bound for St. Petersburg in Russia that crashed in Hassana, Egypt, on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015. (Maxim Grigoriev/Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations via AP)

By    |   Monday, 02 Nov 2015 01:46 PM

The Metrojet plane crash could not have been caused by technical problems or pilot error, an official for the Russian airline said Monday, but U.S. officials say terrorism can not yet be ruled out completely.

Alexander Smirnov, Metrojet's deputy director in Moscow, said only an "external impact" could have made the Airbus A320-200 break up in mid-air, causing it to come crashing down in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula on Saturday, presumably killing all 224 aboard.

"[The reason for the accident] could only have been a mechanical impact on the plane," Smirnov told the media, according to USA Today. "We [are] excluding technical problems and rejecting human error."

Smirnov declined to comment on a possible terrorist attack, and both the Egyptian government and Russian investigators have ruled it out, according to USA Today. But U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Monday that, while there is no obvious indication that the plane crash was the result of a terrorist attack, it shouldn't yet be entirely dismissed.

"It’s unlikely but I wouldn’t rule it out," Clapper said, referencing the Islamic State's heavy presence in the Sinai Peninsula region.

ISIS initially claimed responsibility for the Metrojet crash on Saturday, The Independent reported, citing an affiliate of the terrorist organization called Province of Sinai. But officials have since rejected the claim, with Russian experts insisting that the jet was too high for the group's military capability, according to the Daily Express U.K.

Some reports are swirling that the plane was not in good shape prior to the crash. Natalya Trukhacheva, the wife of co-pilot Sergei Trukhacheva, told Russian state-run news channel NTV that her husband complained before the flight that the technical condition of the aircraft "left much to be desired," the Daily Express reported.

A Metrojet spokeswoman has since rejected those complaints.

"This plane met all the standards required for our flights," the Metrojet spokeswoman said in a statement. "If it had had any technical faults that would have meant it couldn't perform this flight it would not have flown."

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The Metrojet plane crash could not have been caused by technical problems or pilot error, an official for the Russian airline said Monday, but U.S. officials say terrorism can not yet be ruled out completely.
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2015-46-02
Monday, 02 Nov 2015 01:46 PM
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